Will Forster

Former Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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New transport network for south Woking?

by willforster on 12 September, 2018

Since being elected as County Councillor for Woking South in 2009, I have been pushing for better access to the town centre and railway station from the south side of Woking.

South Woking currently suffers from poor transport links to central Woking, and Victoria Arch and the roads leading up to it are inadequate for motorists, dangerous for cyclists and unpleasant for pedestrians.  So I am pleased to report that Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council yesterday launched a public consultation on plans to improve the highway network just south of Woking town centre, whilst Network Rail would replace Victoria Arch.

The plans would see the road under Victoria Arch widened and the replacement of the existing one-way gyratory system around Guildford Road, Victoria Road and A320 Station Approach with a two-way road for vehicles, as well as the introduction of safer, more convenient walking and cycle routes between the town centre and the railway station, and south Woking.  Full details of the plans can be viewed here.

These plans put together by Surrey and Woking Councils are probably the only way of resolving our longstanding transport problems – so I am inclined support them, but I really want to hear what local people think.  This is our chance to help shape Woking’s highway network for years to come.

A series of public drop-in sessions will be held in Wolsey Place Shopping Centre where residents can find out more about the proposal and members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions on Thursday 20th September 2018 between 12.30pm and 8.30pm and Saturday 29th September 2018 between 10am and 4pm.  A public exhibition will also be held during the consultation period at Morris House in 34 Commercial Way, where residents can find out more about the proposal.


6 Responses

  1. Simon Harrison says:

    Like you, I’m inclined to support the plans. My main concern is that the combined cycling/pedestrian routes could turn into comedy cycle paths that cyclists will choose to avoid.

    On the consultation map, the cycle/footway on Guildford road next to the Tesco Express looks worryingly like “at this point, cyclists will turn sharply to the right for this pinch point”. And there appear to be a few places where cyclists get to ride for a while, stop, ride for 3 metres, stop again, and so on. My concern is that cyclists could think that this is another cyclists are an afterthought and stick to the road.

    What happens after you’ve cycled through Victoria Arch heading north? Will there be a friendly way of getting cyclists across the main road to the town centre? Or a nice cycle park so that you can walk to town from Goldsworth Road (that would be good).

  2. Hanne Stinson says:

    Hi Will
    I am really concerned about the quality of this consultation. I’ve looked at the material on the Woking BC website and am worried about several aspects: specifically, how will traffic on the Guildford Road (heading north) get to the station, to Oriental Road, and to Heathside Road (and hence to the Community hospital and 2 GP surgeries)? There seems to be a right turn at the traffic lights, but I doubt that will cope with the amount of traffic that goes that way, especially in the morning an evening.
    The consultation doesn’t mention the issue about access to Day’s aggregates – supposedly from York Road – which I don’t think can cope with the traffic.
    I can’t get to any of the consultations – unfortunately – but am really unhappy about the info provided.
    Can you get this improved?

    • willforster says:

      Hi Hanne,

      Traffic going north on the A320 would turn right at the new junction just south of Victoria Arch to get to the station, Heathside Road etc – almost the same as they do now.

      These plans do not include changing access to and from Day’s Aggregates, that might be considered in the future.


  3. Colin Smelt says:

    Hello Will,
    Shared cycle and pedestrian paths are a tragedy waiting to happen. My walk into Woking from Southview Court is stressful enough now with cyclists flying past me with inches to spare. I am now virtually housebound, and only go to the town when I absolutely need to.

    Footpaths were invented to segregate pedestrians from traffic; cycles are traffic. We now live in a reactive world and it takes a tragedy for ill thought, so called progress to be reversed.

    The cyclist elite are being prioritised over the safety of pedestrians, and it is not right.

    Kind Regards,

    • willforster says:

      Hello Colin,

      Sorry you are not a fan of shared use areas and that you have had some issues with them, I have been walking from the Southview Court area to Woking for years now and not had the same experience.

      I think there are several ideas behind having shared use areas, firstly when there is limited space in towns people need to share it – there is not enough space for everyone. Plus, when the pavement is segregated, eg a cycle lane and a pedestrian walkway, pedestrians often do not stay in the pedestrian section. This causes issues too, and at least in a shared use area, it puts the onus on the cyclists and encourages them to go around pedestrians.

      Have you responded to the consultation and requested segregated cycle lanes? If that’s what consultation says people prefer segregated and it is physically possible, I am happy to support that.

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